$4 trn investor group calls for greater transparency in drug trials

AllTrials campaign wants pharmaceutical companies to report on all past, present and future drug tests 

Investors representing $4 trn in assets have joined a campaign to push large pharmaceutical companies for more transparency on drug trials and data related to the development of products.

The UK-based AllTrials campaign, which is coordinated by BNP Paribas, the British Medical Journal and others, has attracted involvement from Swiss asset manager RobecoSAM, Aviva Investors, the investment arm of Wellcome Trust and about 80 other asset managers from North America, Europe and Australia in a push for reporting requirements on past, present and future drug trials, the campaign managers say.

‘We are asking all the pharma companies we invest in to move towards transparency,’ Peter van der Werf, engagement specialist at RobecoSAM, says in a press release organized by the campaign. ‘By not being transparent, biopharmaceutical companies put their reputation at risk. We deem this to be a financially material factor and encourage all companies to gain credibility regarding their approach to clinical trial transparency by signing up to the AllTrials principles.’

The group is calling for the publishing of the methods and full results of all trials, including any negative aspects or issues encountered. It wants the registration of past and ongoing trials as well as registration of future trials before they launch.

The group is also calling for an ‘objective summary’ of trial results published within a year of completion of any trial, following guidelines set out by government. It says it supports efforts to allow independent research to reliable data on individual patients while ensuring the patients’ anonymity.

‘Alongside doctors and their patients, investors also risk being misled, given that an average of around 30 percent of pharmaceutical company valuations directly relates to the results of phase III clinical trials,’ says Helena Viñes Fiestas, head of sustainability research at BNP Paribas Investment Partners.

‘With company valuations and expected revenue streams a key component of the stock selection process, it is essential that companies publish complete and accurate information on trial results so that investment decisions can be fully informed,’ she says.

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